With Christmas and New Years coming up so is lots of socialising, drinking and tonnes of tasty food and for a lot of people this also means down time from the gym. However if you want to have your cake and eat it too without packing on pounds of fat - staying active should be your no 1 strategy in keeping the extra fluff off your hard earned body.
Plan your workouts ahead - If you set yourself a routine, you will be more likely to actually get yourself to the gym and get it done. Know exactly what exercises you will be doing, stay focused and you can be in and out of the gym within 45 minutes! Get this done first thing in the morning and you will have your whole day ahead of you to enjoy, knowing that the work has already been done.
Make it fun - Sometimes going to the gym may not be an option or you just may not feel like it. That's fine, there are ways to stay active without being at the gym. Go ice skating, run outside in the snow or challenge your friends / family to some push ups and squats - the possibilities are endless.
Eat strategically - If you know that you will be having a blow eat meal later in the day or you are going to a party, swap your morning pancakes with syrup for something lower in calories and sugar such as egg omelette or a small bowl of proats. By keeping the calories down through the day you will be giving yourself more room to wiggle and will be able to indulge in the evening (almost) guilt free.
Change your goals - Prior to the holiday season your goal may have been leaning down and shedding fat but it makes sense to put the extra calories you will be eating to good use and change your goal to building muscle or gaining strength. This will be a perfect period to pick up some heavy weights and make those calories count.
Don't stress - Stress raises cortisol, affects your insulin, and makes fat burning a tough process. Stressing is only going to make your life that much harder so take some time out for yourself and don't worry too much - make sure your schedule isn't too crazy and if things do get too hectic, try to prioritise your time and say 'no' if necessary.